Monday, November 5, 2007

Water, Flame, Wine, Music...Peace

For the third or fourth weekend in a row I've been in the garage (which I suppose is better that being in the doghouse) constructing gruesome artifacts. If you read my Halloween posts then you know that I spent the weeks leading up to the big event building zombies, electric chairs, cemeteries, autopsy bodies and other assorted (and sordid) props and decorations. You would think it would be time for a breather. Not hardly.

My middle daughter is playing Van Helsing (hey, shortage of guys, her good fortune) in her high school production of Dracula next weekend. I told the theater teacher months ago that I would help out. With Halloween over and production week starting, the time has come to pay up. Soooo. After clearing the lawn and figuring out where to put all the decorations (I pity anybody that decides to go in the attic above my garage, it looks like the scene in Aliens where the creatures are coming through the ceiling space...only it's zombies), then yet another trip to Home Depot, I spent the weekend building a coffin. Not just a rectangular box, but one of those really cool old fashioned shaped numbers (I plan to keep it and add it to the decoration lineup). Then I had to figure out how to rig up an effect where half of a bloody stake can stick out of Dracula's chest at the end of the play when he's killed. And at the last minute the director told me she'd really like to have a bat fly from the stage up into the lighting catwalk. It's Sunday night, the stake is done, the coffin is not as far along as I'd hoped, and I can tell you where I'd like to make a bat fly for the director. I'll get it finished. But I was stressin' today.

In my commuting blog a couple of weeks ago I explained how much I value my weekends and the limited time I have with my family. I absolutely love Halloween but as I said, this was my third or fourth weekend either in the garage, Home Depot, or the front yard. It's starting to feel like a job. On top of that my wife wasn't here this weekend. She had a family obligation in Florida and yes, I'm not ashamed to say that I miss her. Badly. The high point of the weekend was without question spending time with my two daughters, that and the kick-ass broccoli-potato-ham-cheddar soup that I made for dinner.

Like I said, I was stressin'. So, as I stood there watching the girls clean up after dinner, and I glanced into the garage at the partially finished coffin and the piles of scrap wood and sawdust, I did what any red-blooded American man would do. I poured myself my third glass of Cab Sav, ascended the stairs, lit a few candles, turned on some Native American flute music, and took a long, hot, bubbly, bath. I sat there listening to the haunting sounds, stared at the candle flame, emptied my mind, and soaked until I pruned. After enjoying a totally empty mind for a while I allowed myself to drift to a Caribbean beach which is where I would desperately love to be for real...for a week, a month...a year. Then I got out, dried off, threw on some sweats and did a Tai Chi routine. Now I feel like a limp dishrag, and I couldn't care less what's happening in the garage. I don't care whether or not Dracula has a place to sleep for the night or whether or not a bat rises out of the mist, whistles the finale from Les Miz and flies up the teacher's ass. I'll think about that tomorrow. After all...tomorrow is another day.

Baths. Christ, what a simple pleasure.


Crashdummie said...

After seeing the Halloween post, I have a diff time to imagine you doing Thai Chi routine... cuz thats all abt balance alnd calmness.. iiih!

hahah, so wicked that your daughter gets to be Van Helsing, kicking some vampire butts!

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Hey, I'm the calmest, most well-balanced zombie maker this side of Hades. Actually your observation on the difference between those two posts and the person in them sums me up pretty well. You never know what you're gonna get.

Anonymous said...

If I were you I'd get that mess cleaned up in the garage before the wife sees it or there will be hell to pay!

Bruce, a work in progress said...

Nah, she doesn't care what the garage looks like. The rest of the house is neatened up and she's not walking into a mess. That's what matters. I've got my priorities straight baby.